Experienced senior captains are key to any basketball team and thatâ€™s the case with the â€śAthlete of the Weekâ€ť picks.
Sarah Guerin is leading the way for Bristol Central and Mike Tiscia stepped it up a notch for Terryvilleâ€™s when it lost its No. 1 scorer, Evan Dorso, to injury in Wednesdayâ€™s game.
In the case of Guerin, the daughter of Joe and Theresa Guerin, itâ€™s having the teamâ€™s best all-around statistics.
â€śSheâ€™s a returning starter and senior captain who was named to the all-tournament team at the North Haven Christmas Tournament,â€ť Bristol Central coach Steve Gaudet said. â€śShe averaged 18 points in those two games and sheâ€™s a leader on and off the court for the team. Sheâ€™s second in rebounds and number one in assists.
â€śShe works extremely hard, pushes her teammates and even though we are off to a slow start, she continually comes to practice and games trying to make herself and her teammates better each day.â€ť
The Rams were 0-8 coming into this week and despite this, Guerin, a guard, keeps a positive outlook on things.
â€śWeâ€™re having a hard time finishing games where weâ€™ve had the lead, so weâ€™re practicing time management,â€ť Guerin said. â€śI donâ€™t think our record shows the talent we have on our team. Weâ€™ve just made some mental mistakes that have taken us down.â€ť
Having won just one game during last season, the goal, Guerin added, is to better that this winter.
â€śI think itâ€™s possible,â€ť Guerin said. â€śWe have to work on the little things, making easy layups, getting rebounds, and just work as a team more.â€ť
A three-sport athlete who also plays soccer and softball for Bristol Central, Guerin appreciates what her time on the basketball court has taught her, including making her a stronger individual.
â€śItâ€™s taught me to make the best of everything even though things arenâ€™t going your way,â€ť Guerin said. â€śItâ€™s taught me to never give up and to have fun with anything Iâ€™m doing. Iâ€™ve made my best friends from playing sports and Iâ€™ve become close to my coaches.â€ť
And in being a team leader, she shares some of her knowledge with the younger up and coming athletes.
â€śIâ€™d tell them to always stay positive, to be confident even when they make a mistake,â€ť â€ť Guerin said. â€śGet right back up and keep trying.â€ť
Following graduation in June, Guerin will start readying for college. She hopes to play basketball at that level while studying to become an elementary school teacher.
Tiscia, the son of Lauren and Ronald of Plymouth, scored a career- and game-high 31 points on Wednesday in the Kangaroosâ€™ exciting 66-62 triumph over Nonnewaug. His backcourt partner, Evan Dorso, left the game in the early part of the second quarter after breaking his elbow and Tiscia went on to tally 23 of his 31 points after Dorsoâ€™s exit. He followed this performance with a team-best 11 points on Saturday night in a 52-37 loss to host Litchfield.
With regards to the Nonnewaug game, Terryville coach Mark Fowler said Tiscia â€śwas outstanding.â€ť
But going into the week with a 1-3 record, Tiscia said there is still work to be done.
â€śWe arenâ€™t off to the start we wanted, but weâ€™re going to pick up the pace and win more games,â€ť Tiscia said. â€śWe lost Evan, our point guard, and weâ€™re going to play through that making some adjustments. Heâ€™s going to be out 4-6 weeks.â€ť
Asked about team goals this year, one coming off a 2016-2017 season with a 10-10 record, he was upbeat.
â€śItâ€™s to do some damage in the Berkshire League tournament and make it to the state tournament and make damage there,â€ť Tiscia said. â€śWe have to play hard to get there and I have to play point guard now. I have to push my teammates and they have to push me. Weâ€™ll be in the state tournament at the end of the year.â€ť
And like Guerin, Tiscia is a three-sport athlete at school, also having run cross country this fall and being a member of the school baseball team. But his favorite sport is basketball.
â€śI love going on the court playing with my friends and itâ€™s the only sport where the crowd gets into it,â€ť Tiscia said. â€śIt really pumps you up. My friends and I help coach the recreation league team and my ultimate goal is to be a coach.â€ť
With his experience, Tiscia also leaves advice for the younger players.
â€śAlways keep your head up,â€ť Tiscia said. â€śAlways work hard, but be open to advice. Listen to your coach and your teammates and in the offseason, always work on your game. Never take a break from playing.â€ť
His plans for the 2018-2019 school year is college. Heâ€™s thinking of sports management for a career while hoping to playing basketball at that level.